This article was originally published by Michael Snyder at The End of the American Dream.
If it seems like about half the country is on drugs, that is because it is actually true. According to a new survey from the National Center for Health Statistics, almost half of all Americans have taken a pharmaceutical drug within the past 30 days, and that officially makes us “the most medicated country in the world.”
And needless to say, those dealing these drugs are becoming exceedingly wealthy at our expense. The average American spends $1,200 a year on prescription drugs, but of course, many Americans spend far more than that and others spend nothing at all. In recent years there has been a tremendous backlash against the big pharmaceutical corporations because many of them have become exceedingly greedy. As you will see below, prices have been raised on 650 different drugs this year alone. Once they get their claws into you, the pharmaceutical giants want to get every last penny out of you that they possibly can.
Without a doubt, there are some pharmaceutical drugs that greatly help people. In fact, many people wouldn’t be alive today without them.
On the other hand, it has been estimated that Americans spend somewhere around $200 billion a year on drugs that they do not need, and this new survey from the National Center for Health Statistics discovered that 46 percent of all Americans have taken a prescription drug within the last 30 days…
Nearly half of people in the US are taking prescription drugs, a new report reveals.
The National Center for Health Statistics surveyed people across the US, and found that about 46 percent of respondents had taken at least one prescription drug in the past month.
I am sorry, but there is no way that half the country needs to be hooked on drugs.
And for senior citizens that number is much higher. In fact, the survey found that a whopping 85 percent of Americans over the age of 60 are currently on at least one pharmaceutical drug.
For adults under the age of 60, antidepressants are being taken more than anything else…
For young adults antidepressants are king. According to the most recent numbers, 11.4 percent of 20- to 59-year-olds had taken a drug to help with their mood in the last month when they took the survey.
Could this help to explain why so many people are walking around like zombies these days?
And since nearly all mass shooters have been found to be on some kind of mind-altering drug, perhaps Congress should finally take some action in this area. It can be exceedingly difficult to get off these insidious drugs, and many that get hooked on them end up staying on them for the rest of their lives.
Of course, antidepressants are just one part of the problem. For example, opioids are some of the most addictive drugs on the entire planet, and their overuse has destroyed countless lives all across America.
Like those that deal illegal drugs, once the big pharmaceutical companies have their hooks in you they are not afraid to take full advantage of it. And even though many Americans rely on life-saving drugs to literally stay alive, big pharma just keeps jacking up prices year after year after year. As I mentioned above, prices have been raised on 650 different medications this year alone…
More than 650 products had price increases this year, through early February, according to Rx Savings Solutions, which sells software to employers and insurers to reduce drug costs. The industry justifies the moves as essential for investing in research and development. Drugmakers often point out that they see very little of the increases because of the big rebates they distribute to others in the supply chain, including insurers and pharmacy benefit managers, who in turn blame Pharma for setting high list prices.
In most cases, we are not just talking about a price increase of a dollar or two either.
For example, one study found that out-of-pocket costs for multiple sclerosis medications had gotten 20 times greater between 2004 and 2016…
The study, published Wednesday in the journal Neurology, found that the average out-of-pocket costs for people taking medications for multiple sclerosis had risen the greatest over the past 12 years, costing 20 times more in 2016 than in 2004.
“Out-of-pocket costs have risen to the point where neurologists should be able to consider the potential financial burden for the patient when prescribing medication, but they do not have this information available to them,” said Dr. Brian C. Callaghan, the study’s lead author and assistant professor of neurology at the University of Michigan.
When you have to pay 20 times as much for the same medicine 12 years later, that is some serious price gouging.
But even worse if what Catalyst Pharmaceuticals just did.
They took a drug that literally makes it possible for people with Lambert-Eaton myasthenic syndrome to be able to walk and jacked the price all the way up to $375,000 a year…
Bhanu Patel couldn’t believe the news. The cost of the medication that allows her to move — the one that enabled her to walk stairs again — shot up to $375,000.
Fear gripped her: What would this mean for her independence? Would she become a financial burden on her family? How is this possible in the country that’s given her so much?
Thankfully, there was so much outrage that the FDA decided to undercut them…
The FDA announced Monday that it was approving a separate drug for pediatric patients with a rare, painful neuromuscular disease called Lambert-Eaton myasthenic syndrome, also known as LEMS. The disease weakens and fatigues muscles, causing agonizing pain to the point at which patients struggle to walk.
The move sparked celebration in the LEMS community and tanked the stock of Catalyst Pharmaceuticals, maker of the $375,000 drug, called Firdapse. The company’s stock price has dropped about 50% since Monday.
Look, nobody is suggesting that pharmaceutical companies should not be allowed to make a profit.
But when you act like a pig, you are going to get slaughtered, and Catalyst Pharmaceuticals deserves everything that is happening to it.
Once upon a time, the medical industry was all about helping people, but now it is all about making as much money as possible. We desperately need to fundamentally reform our healthcare system, but Congress is not going to do that any time soon.
So, for now, the big pharmaceutical companies will continue to try to get as many of us as possible hooked on their drugs, and they will continue to try to squeeze every single penny out of us that they possibly can.